Cold showers, hot saunas and the new way to tame stress–The Wall Street Journal, March 14, 2022
A growing body of research indicates that short intermittent bouts of stress (called hormetic stress)—such as hot and cold experiences, high-intensity exercise, and intermittent fasting—can strengthen your ability to withstand chronic stress during tough times. Researchers such as Dr. Elissa Epel at the University of California, San Francisco are now undertaking clinical trials on the “stress paradox”: the concept that more positive stress is a way to manage negative stress—with a study underway comparing the stress-relief effects of low-intensity meditation vs. high-intensity exercise and hypoxic breathing methods developed by Wim Hof, the “Iceman.”
Slobbing out and giving up: Why are so many people going ‘goblin mode’? (and rejecting wellness and bettering themselves?)– The Guardian, March 14, 2022
“Goblin mode” is getting press and lighting up social media. The concept is about embracing the comforts of depravity—such as spending the day in bed binge-watching TV and eating chips or leaving your house in pajamas to get a single beer at the corner store. It’s a pointed rejection of the culture of self-betterment and wellness—and the “That Girl” trend on TikTok (3 billion views), a highly-curated lifestyle of making organic breakfasts and matcha lattes, endlessly working out, and complex skincare regimes. Google Trends showed a big spike in popularity for “goblin mode” starting in February.
A Microsoft survey finds employees are putting wellness over work–Fast Company, March 16, 2022
According to Microsoft’s new, second-annual Work Trend Index, the very same people who left the office at the start of the pandemic now have dramatically different expectations and needs as they return to work today. The survey of 30,000 global workers paints a picture of a workforce that prioritizes its own health and wellbeing over work accomplishments, demands greater flexibility, and is more willing to switch employers to get what they want out of work.
The youth movement trying to revolutionize climate politics–The New Yorker, February 28, 2022
Sunrise—a youth-led climate-justice group which models itself on the civil rights movement of the ‘50s and the ‘60s—has already shifted the conventional wisdom about climate change. Now it wants to create a mass movement, combining street protest with policy negotiation, “while there’s still time.” This article corroborates a point we’ve been making often: activism is getting more “active” and sophisticated and it will be a defining feature of the years to come.
The ancient guide for uncertain times (stoicism as a powerful mental health strategy)–BBC Future, March 9, 2022
Epictetus famously said: “It is not events that disturb people, it is their judgments concerning them.“ When we live in troubled times and so many people find it difficult to cope mentally, the teachings of the Stoics (a school “built for hard times”) can help. Key takeaways from the Stoic philosophy: (1) Recognize what you can (and can’t) control; (2) You always choose how to respond; (3) See every challenge as a learning opportunity—and a test; (4) Remember that change (and loss) are constants; (5) Rehearse for the worst but don’t spin your wheels worrying; (6) Keep things to the simple facts and avoid catastrophizing; (7) Help others and ask for help—but protect yourself emotionally. Wise and helpful.
A Striking Stat
Demand for no– and low-alcohol wine, beer and spirits skyrocketed during the pandemic—with brands seeing a 315% surge in sales over the last year.